90th Academy Awards nominees – Documentary Short

The Academy Awards have announced the nominees for the short list of the documentary short category at the 90th Academy Awards. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Kayayo – The Living Shopping Baskets
Knife Skills
116 Cameras
Ram Dass, Going Home
Ten Meter Tower
Traffic Stop

This list will be reduced to five on 23rd January 2018.

Those in the UK with access to Netflix can watch Heroin(e) now.

90th Academy Awards nominees – Visual Effects

The nominees for the Visual Effects category for the 90th Academy Awards® are, in alphabetical order:

Alien: Covenant
Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
War for the Planet of the Apes

The list will be further narrowed down to five, after which the final nominees will be announced on Tuesday 23rd January 2018.

More information can be found here.

89th Academy Awards (2017) – Full list of winners

Best picture
WINNER: Moonlight
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

Best director
WINNER: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Best original screenplay
WINNER: Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
20th Century Women

Best adapted screenplay
WINNER: Moonlight
Hidden Figures

Best actor
WINNER: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best actress
WINNER: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best supporting actor
WINNER: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best supporting actress
WINNER: Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best documentary
WINNER: OJ: Made in America
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated

Best documentary short
WINNER: The White Helmets
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland

Best animated feature
WINNER: Zootopia
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life As a Zucchini
The Red Turtle

Best animated short
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Best foreign language film
WINNER: The Salesman
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
Toni Erdmann

Best live-action short
Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights

Best score
WINNER: La La Land

Best song
WINNER: City of Stars (La La Land)
Audition (La La Land)
Can’t Stop the Feeling! (Trolls)
The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story)
How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

Best makeup and hairstyling
WINNER: Suicide Squad
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond

Best costume design
WINNER: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

Best sound editing
WINNER: Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Best sound mixing
WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

Best production design
WINNER: La La Land
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!

Best visual effects
WINNER: The Jungle Book
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best film editing
WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land

Best cinematography
WINNER: La La Land

Film review – Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2017)

Barry Jenkins’s cinematic tryptich, which serves as a revealing cross-analysis of homosexuality in the black America community, is a film that will do nothing if not leave a lasting mark on your memory. It’s complex. It’s provocative. It’s beautiful. It’s absolutely brilliant.

Split into three equal sections, the film comprises extended vignettes based around Miami-based Chiron. As a child he is portrayed by Alex Hibber at a time in his life where he is a loner, lacking support from his drug-addict mother (Naomie Harris) and feeling isolated at school. As a college student he is portrayed by Ashton Sanders as he struggles to cope with his mother’s growing addiction but also has his first sexual encounter with a childhood friend. The third section of the film covers a late-20s Chiron (Trevante Rhodes), now much hardened to life and living away from his home city in Atlanta, but returning to visit his mother and that same childhood friend.

Much like Lion earlier this year, Moonlight is a triumph due to several actors portraying its central character at different stages of his life. Each of the performances is well nuanced, but build up a complex picture of Chiron, the pay-off being in the final third as we realise what he has become is every bit influenced by what we’ve seen of him as a child.


Where Moonlight really excels though is its ability to steer away from the stereotypes almost every mainstream film portrays these types of characters as. This is a tale about a homosexual black American which allows neither the colour of his skin nor his sexuality to define him.

Aside from the lead character, there is an exceptional contribution from Mahershala Ali as Juan, a drug-dealer who comes across a young Chiron hiding from some bullies in a property he owns. Rather than what we’d have come to expect, which would probably involve some amount of grooming and exploitation, instead we see him become a father figure for the child, teaching him how to swim and offering him a place to sleep and food to eat. It’s refreshing to see a character exist in this manner and hopefully this is a sign of things to come at cinemas. It’s no surprise that it has earned Ali an Oscar nomination.

It’s a personal film that deserves all the plaudits it has received. With a timely release during Black History Month, a film that challenges the status quo has to be welcomed with open arms by the forward thinkers of the world, even if it seems like backwards thinking is taking over the world.

Academy Awards 2017 – Full list of nominees (text only)

Here’s a full list of the nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, announced earlier today ahead of the awards ceremony on 26th February 2017.

Best picture
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”

Lead actor
Casey Affleck
Andrew Garfield
Ryan Gosling
Viggo Mortensen
Denzel Washington

Lead actress
Isabelle Huppert
Ruth Negga
Natalie Portman
Emma Stone
Meryl Streep

Supporting actor
Mahershala Ali
Jeff Bridges
Lucas Hedges
Dev Patel
Michael Shannon

Supporting actress
Viola Davis
Naomie Harris
Nicole Kidman
Octavia Spencer
Michelle Williams

Best director
Denis Villeneuve
Mel Gibson
Damien Chazelle
Kenneth Lonergan
Barry Jenkins

Animated feature
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“The Red Turtle”

Animated short
“Blind Vaysha”
“Borrowed Time”
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”

Adapted screenplay
“Hidden Figures”

Original screenplay
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land”
“The Lobster”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“20th Century Women”

“La La Land”

Best documentary feature
“Fire at Sea”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“Life Animated”
“OJ: Made in America”

Best documentary short subject
“4.1 Miles”
“Joe’s Violin”
“Watani My Homeland”
“The White Helmets”

Best live-action short film
“Ennemis Interieurs”
“La Femme et le TGV”
“Silent Nights”

Best foreign language film
“A Man Called Ove”
“Land of Mine”
“The Salesman”
“Toni Erdmann”

Film editing
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land”

Sound editing
“Deep Water Horizon”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”

Sound mixing
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”
“Rogue One”
“13 Hours”

Production design
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Hail Caesar!”
“La La Land”

Original score
“La La Land”

Original song
Audition (La La Land)
Can’t Stop the Feeling (Trolls)
City of Stars (La La Land)
Empty Chair (Jim)
How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

Makeup and hair
“A Man Called Ove”
“Star Trek Beyond”
“Suicide Squad”

Costume design
“Fantastic Beasts”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“La La Land”

Visual effects
“Deepwater Horizon”
“Doctor Strange”
“Jungle Book”
“Rogue One”

Why La La Land probably won’t clean up at this year’s Academy Awards

The critical enthusiasm for La La Land has been matched, for good reason, by the audience’s outpouring of affection. The music is now firmly stuck in the heads of everyone who has seen it, with many of its devotees wondering what the odds are for it to clean up at the Oscars.

Here I’ll explain why this probably won’t be the case.

What’s the current record?

Three films have won 11 Oscars: Ben Hur, (1959), Titanic (1997) and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Titanic managed these with 14 nominations, whilst the final Lord of the Rings film achieved a clean sweep, winning 11 out of 11 awards. Elsewhere, All About Eve (1950) received 14 nominations, though it only won 6 of these.

For La La Land to get close to this, it’s therefore going to need 11 or more nominations, and win almost all of them.

Which awards does it have a good chance of winning?

La La Land has a great chance at winning in many or all of the categories available to it: Best Picture; Best Director; Leading Actor and Actress; Original Song; Original Score; Best Writing (Original Screenplay) will certainly be places it will be nominated, so assuming the swell of enthusiasm continues it will probably do well in what are considered to be the major categories.

So where will it fall down?

There are 24 categories that the Academy awards prizes in, but that doesn’t mean that a film can win in 24 categories. There are two awards for animated films, two for documentary films, one for a film in a foreign language and one for a live action short film. So that’s six prizes that can’t be won.

There are two prizes for Best Writing: one is for an original screenplay and one is for an adapted screenplay. Since La La Land is an original script, it is excluded from the adapted screenplay category. That’s another one down.

Perhaps the most glaringly-obvious problem it faces is that there are only two characters in the film: Mia and Sebastian. So whilst they will probably get the nominations for leading actress and actor, there isn’t anyone of note in the film that could be classed as a supporting actor or actress. The closest would be John Legend’s portrayal of Keith, the frontman for the jazz band Seb joins halfway through the story, followed by Rosemarie DeWitt as Laura (Sebastian’s sister). It seems unlikely to pick up nods in these categories. Two more down.

Finally, a few categories have already been announced and La La Land doesn’t feature in any of them. The long-lists Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Visual Effects excluded La La Land from their lists. Two more down.

So where does that leave it?

It only has access to 13 awards and will need a nomination in each of the categories if it is going to break records. It’s not unrealistic for it to achieve this, but it will require nods in the likes of Best Production Design (awarded for interior design for the sets) and Best Costume Design to get there.

However, with a weak field to compete against, it is quite possible that it will do. this anyway! Here’s hoping!!